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By Sam Benshoof and Mike Nowatzki, Forum staff writers, Published February 07 2012

Ex-PTA president arrested in prostitution sting

FARGO – A former president of a Fargo school PTA was among three women arrested during a prostitution sting at the Motel 6 here on Monday night.

Wendy Marie Jojola, 46, of Fargo, was arrested by Fargo police on suspicion of prostitution along with 35-year-old Kimberly Lea Lyles of Fargo and 32-year-old Heather Marie Mattson, who police said had no permanent address.

Jojola served as Discovery Middle School PTA president during the 2008-09 school year but no longer works with the organization, said Discovery Assistant Principal Mike Beaton.

Discovery Principal Linda Davis, who works more directly with the PTA, was not available Tuesday.

Kristi Crawford, president of the Fargo Council PTA, a group that oversees the PTA organizations of individual schools in Fargo, declined comment on Jojola’s time as president or her arrest.

Jojola also served as vice president of membership for the North Dakota PTA in 2009, according to the organization’s website.

Messages left with the state PTA’s president and main office were not returned.

Jojola couldn’t be reached in multiple calls to a listed phone number that didn’t accept voice mail messages.

Fargo police said in a news release Tuesday that detectives called phone numbers listed in escort advertisements on a website – www.fargo.backpage.com – and in the adult entertainment classifieds section of The Forum.

During the sting, four women met with an undercover officer and three of them allegedly agreed to engage in sexual activity for money, the release said.

Police have received recurring information about prostitutes operating at numerous hotels in Fargo, but there was no current information about them operating at Motel 6 at 1202 36th St. SW, where the sting occurred, according to Lt. Joel Vettel.

“However, the participating motel has taken the stance of cooperating with law enforcement to allow these stings to take place at the motel in an effort to deter this and other crimes. Their cooperation to help deter crime in their community is greatly appreciated,” police said in a news release from Vettel.

By the end of the day Tuesday, only Mattson had officially been charged in Cass County District Court.

She was also arrested on a Cass County parole warrant and is scheduled to make her initial court appearance this morning.

Both Jojola and Lyles bailed out Monday from the Cass County Jail. Charges against them are pending.

Prostitution is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted.


Readers can reach Forum reporters Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535 and Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528